I keep checking in with myself. “Am I ok?” Then I pause and wait for some sign or feeling that I’m not ok and it hasn’t come. This feeling of stability is wonderful, especially with the craziness that I’ve taken on.
In the last month I’ve tackled Thanksgiving, end-of-year preparations for our business, Christmas shopping, holiday parties, a tax audit, dentist/doctor appointments and oh, guess what? We’re putting our home of 19 years on the market January 1. Decluttering, painting, cleaning, obsessing and a partridge in a pear tree.
It’s a lot but it’s something I’ve said YES to and that makes all the difference. I can start to feel resentful of all that is asked of me when I’m wishy-washy about saying YES. Burdens are born of maybe and if I have to and I guess so.
I’ve even made time to read some books! Here are some of the books (for grownups and kids) that have helped keep me centered, take care of myself and embrace this new adventure:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
“I believe that curiosity is the secret. Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Furthermore, curiosity is accessible to everyone. Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times – a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is a milder, quieter, more welcoming, and more democratic entity. The stakes of curiosity are also far lower than the stakes of passion. Passion makes you get divorced and sell all your possessions and shave your head and move to Nepal. Curiosity doesn’t ask nearly so much of you.”
Absolute Mayhem by Kelly Suellentrop
“Absolute Mayhem means fun rules the day, the night is filled with magic and wonder. And things that are normal during the week turn to crazy creations of splendor.”
Rising Strong by Brenè Brown
“Grief seems to create losses within us that reach beyond our awareness – we feel as if we’re missing something that was invisible and unknown to us while we had it, but is now painfully gone.”
Madame Eiffel, The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower by Alice Brière-Haquet and Csil
“Eiffel waits a day, then two, but Cathy still feels blue. This is so unlike her! Could Cathy be ill? No time to waste, he calls the best doctors in haste…Raising their arms in despair, they agree there is nothing to be done…Just…perhaps…get some fresh air?”
“Just tell the truth because it sets us free. This first domino unleashes a chain reaction of liberation. If we tell truth in the small things, our honesty is well-practiced when stuff gets dire. This creates a sincere community for which the earth is starving. In a world full of the fake, artificial, pretend, and superficial, we have the sustenance to nourish our starving hearts.”
Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat
“Just then, they both heard someone chopping. A woodsman? Red thought. But instead – it was Gran in her gi. She’d just come from tai chi. ‘Don’t you dare harm a hair on her head!’”
Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
“Some facts of your childhood will remain immutable, but others won’t. You may never make sense of the bad things that happened to you, but with work and with mindfulness, with understanding and heart, you will make sense of yourself.”
Trigger Points Anthology: Abuse survivors experiences of parenting, editors Dawn Daum and Joyelle Brandt, from the essay by Jessica Malionek,
“The thing about Fear is this – he kept me from seeing my whole self. Fear robbed me of my power and silenced my voice. Accepting the rain storm and choosing to sit in it has enabled me to individuate from Fear. Not running from Fear. Not reaching for an umbrella. Not grabbing for a towel and finding it’s already drenched. No. I had to stop being afraid of fear.”
Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey
“I wonder if that’s what really happens when we meet Jesus. It’s not that we meet Him or that we believe in Him or that we “invite Him into our hearts” or that we mentally assent to some nonnegotiable truths that will govern our best life now.
No, I think it’s that we recognize Him.”
All my love to you during this holy season! I’ll be back next year. ❤